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Brandy's 125g display tank


Brandy
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Hi. Long time no see. 

It has been a trip, getting the house to be functional and I am more than ready for the fun part. 

We finally reinforced the floor, and filled the 125 gallon in the living room.

So far, I have a corner matten filter powered by an 800GPH submersible, a thin layer of dirt capped with ~75lb black diamond sand, lights and nothing else. Blank slate. I need more sand/gravel...Hard scape (may use granite slabs and round river rock, which will help anchor plants), plants....a cover, possibly a heater. pH will be low 6.5-7.4, hoping to keep temps 76-78F.

PXL_20211029_062001887.jpg.fa762ded5a5e3b96e9b28cdf32a8bb65.jpg

Stocking list so far (fish I have in other tanks):

  • Electric Blue Acaras-- I have 2 adults and 10 juveniles, but not keeping all.
  • One blue marbled angel--need more, some one should trade me for acaras.
  • 10 adult albino corydoras
  • As many maylasian trumpet snails as I can dig out of my other tanks--need more!

Wishlist:

  • more angels--5-6 total planned. blue and yellow colors.
  • otocinculs or ?
  • Synodontis eupterus--but this may be too big and agressive for the otos...?
  • other chiclids have been considered, mostly geophagus and severums, or dwarfs like apistos, and in a brief crazy moment a lemon tiger oscar, but they are: 
  1. too big for the tank
  2. will eat the otos
  3. possibly too small for the acaras
  4. hurt plants

Planning simple hardy plants, anubias, bolbitis, java fern, valisnaria, frogbit, hornwort maybe, and trying to balance larger fish appetites with and not wanting to get anything that will eat Otos. If only there were a readily available giant oto...

Help me solve my stocking issue, I want algae eaters that will stand up to the acaras, and if possible the Synodontis eupterus (I want my own pooka). Dithers are optional, there is enough going on in the tank. I am mostly becoming aware just how difficult it is to keep a tank clean with Acaras in it--they eat the snails I usually rely on, and while they have not bothered the otos yet, they could. The corys get the spilled food alright. 

Open to suggestions, really want it to stay clean-ish....The acaras are VERY messy. #noplecos

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On 10/29/2021 at 2:29 PM, Brandy said:

Hi. Long time no see. 

It has been a trip, getting the house to be functional and I am more than ready for the fun part. 

We finally reinforced the floor, and filled the 125 gallon in the living room.

So far, I have a corner matten filter powered by an 800GPH submersible, a thin layer of dirt capped with ~75lb black diamond sand, lights and nothing else. Blank slate. I need more sand/gravel...Hard scape (may use granite slabs and round river rock, which will help anchor plants), plants....a cover, possibly a heater. pH will be low 6.5-7.4, hoping to keep temps 76-78F.

PXL_20211029_062001887.jpg.fa762ded5a5e3b96e9b28cdf32a8bb65.jpg

Stocking list so far (fish I have in other tanks):

  • Electric Blue Acaras-- I have 2 adults and 10 juveniles, but not keeping all.
  • One blue marbled angel--need more, some one should trade me for acaras.
  • 10 adult albino corydoras
  • As many maylasian trumpet snails as I can dig out of my other tanks--need more!

Wishlist:

  • more angels--5-6 total planned. blue and yellow colors.
  • otocinculs or ?
  • Synodontis eupterus--but this may be too big and agressive for the otos...?
  • other chiclids have been considered, mostly geophagus and severums, or dwarfs like apistos, and in a brief crazy moment a lemon tiger oscar, but they are: 
  1. too big for the tank
  2. will eat the otos
  3. possibly too small for the acaras
  4. hurt plants

Planning simple hardy plants, anubias, bolbitis, java fern, valisnaria, frogbit, hornwort maybe, and trying to balance larger fish appetites with and not wanting to get anything that will eat Otos. If only there were a readily available giant oto...

Help me solve my stocking issue, I want algae eaters that will stand up to the acaras, and if possible the Synodontis eupterus (I want my own pooka). Dithers are optional, there is enough going on in the tank. I am mostly becoming aware just how difficult it is to keep a tank clean with Acaras in it--they eat the snails I usually rely on, and while they have not bothered the otos yet, they could. The corys get the spilled food alright. 

Open to suggestions, really want it to stay clean-ish....The acaras are VERY messy. #noplecos

So happy for you! Just do your amazing plant thing. If you get some interesting wood, you could get away with lots of fish, since lines of sight can be blocked. I’m a fan of the canister + overflow HOBs for tanks this size. The matten  looks amazing though. Would be great if that’s all you’d need.

You could jam some huge clown loaches in there with Acaras. 

Edited by Fish Folk
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I’m so intrigued by those corner matten filters. I know they’re great at biological and great at polishing, but how are they to clean? 
I think your plant selection sounds great and very low maintenance. I also think some big swords would go a long way to filling space while the other plants fill in. If you’re not a sword person then maybe some Mayaca Fluviatilis it fills and grows tall fast but doesn’t seem to spread. 

Edited by Patrick_G
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On 10/29/2021 at 12:11 PM, Fish Folk said:

So happy for you! Just do your amazing plant thing. If you get some interesting wood, you could get away with lots of fish, since lines of sight can be blocked. I’m a fan of the canister + overflow HOBs for tanks this size. The matten  looks amazing though. Would be great if that’s all you’d need.

You could jam some huge clown loaches in there with Acaras. 

I am pretty sure the magic plants are exactly what has been saving my bacon this whole time. I will go with lower stocking, more plants, and the matten, because I am wicked lazy and there is literally no easier type of tank to maintain. The flow rate is pretty high, even though I have it turned all the way down. I am just trying to work out how you get algae eaten when you have a tank full of snail eaters! I may have to break down and get a bristle nose pleco. I am hoping the MTS can hold out, but I am pretty sure I am sending them to their doom. 

On 10/29/2021 at 12:41 PM, Patrick_G said:

I’m so intrigued by those corner matten filters. I know they’re great at biological and great at polishing, but how are they to clean? 

Really, not bad at all. I have siliconed little black plastic tabs in the corner, then I took a big sponge mat and stuffed it behind the tabs, and dropped the pump behind, lifter tube out thru a slit I cut in the mat with a paring knife and bob's your uncle. The space has room to hide a small heater too...just planning on bumping up a few degrees as it is a heated room, so I think that will be enough.

When you do water changes you can suction out the sponge in place, but once in a blue moon you can just pull the lifter tube out, and lift the sponge mat out to a bucket. Maybe if I was doing a no plants, highly stocked tank it would be a problem, but I am fairly convinced the sponges are just for polishing, and the plants are really what maintains my water quality. I lost a pump during or two during the move and didn't know they had quit for weeks (or more). No water changes, just top offs, continued feeding...then I noticed mulm building up. Parameters were perfect, fish were fine, no filter at all essentially, in multiple tanks. Plants were overgrown and some even bloomed above the water.

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On 10/29/2021 at 1:22 PM, Brandy said:

Maybe if I was doing a no plants, highly stocked tank it would be a problem, but I am fairly convinced the sponges are just for polishing, and the plants are really what maintains my water quality. I lost a pump during or two during the move and didn't know they had quit for weeks (or more). No water changes, just top offs, continued feeding...then I noticed mulm building up. Parameters were perfect, fish were fine, no filter at all essentially, in multiple tanks. Plants were overgrown and some even bloomed above the water.

I agree. My filterless tank has been a great learning experience. The downside is the buildup of mulm on the light color substrate. Something like ecocomplete would solve that. 

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Oh nice we are doing and entire house remodel and downsizing. My husband promised me a 125 when we move if I got rid of my three tanks. It was a sad day but I am already planning it out very similar to yours. I had a matten corner filter in my 75 and loved it! I would love to see your updates! So I of course can live vicariously through you. 

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I’ve also seen people use the cavity for the mattenfilter as the space for the intake and output for a canister if needed. I just think they’re great also for hiding heaters and any other equipment plus they are amazing filters! 

I think your stocking looks great only concern I saw was a lot of fish that like the bottom 2/3 of the tank with no species for the top 1/3. Maybe a larger hatchet species would fill that out?! 

Can’t wait for the results and next stage. Love the start. 

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On 10/29/2021 at 8:16 PM, Beardedbillygoat1975 said:

I think your stocking looks great only concern I saw was a lot of fish that like the bottom 2/3 of the tank with no species for the top 1/3. Maybe a larger hatchet species would fill that out?! 

Can’t wait for the results and next stage. Love the start. 

This is always a struggle for me. Mostly I think top dwellers are kinda dull. Some day I'd like to get into killiefish, but pretty sure they would be lunch. 

Gravel added.PXL_20211030_051538570.jpg.dbad17d16910f495570ead95ce6e15e6.jpg

Now waiting for dust to settle.

PXL_20211030_052534602.jpg.162f43aec42f6d625da37046cf9ecbcc.jpg

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Ahhh, the ugly duckling phase...

Tucked in some Vallisnaria, rock caves, driftwood--and an extra slab of rock because the wood is still trying to float. Dust haze still ongoing, now with tannins starting to leach from the wood. After waiting this long to fill it I just want to put fish in, it is so hard to be patient!

PXL_20211101_161635580.jpg.27d1246b3308510aac6607a00c383a4c.jpg

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So. The water is starting to clear more. Some of the haze is due to hard water stains  on the glass I was too lazy to scrape off. Snails and soft water will do the job for me with patience.

And my kiddo brought me a present.

PXL_20211105_034927930.jpg.f1e39802d01714bcfefd7a55a1f8e125.jpg

There are 2 of these tiny little guys in there, brought home on an employee discount from a big box store that shall remain nameless in accordance with forum guidelines.

They came straight from the shipper, and never touched the big box tanks. Employee perks for the win. Tank is not fully cycled, but parameters holding steady so far. I didn't quarantine as they are the only fish in the tank, but I'm NOT treating 125g for love nor money, so if they do pop up sick I'll have to catch them. Do as I say, not as I do...

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  • 2 months later...

So update, the tank is coming along....

PXL_20220201_050628178.jpg.bbba32fb70d51e3546c4c2bf4deb88da.jpg

You will notice I've broken with all my plans... There are breeder boxes in the corner and despite my best intentions I have live bearers in the tank. It's temporary! I swear.

However, I needed a place to grow them out and I needed something to help eat the first wave algae...

Stocking list is currently:

12 otocinclus

4 angels

7 albino Corys

12-ish platies

1 Sysdontis eruptus (I love him so much)

a billion snails

Angels are getting bigger...

PXL_20220201_050647891.jpg.615e95ecc333b934de0f4b015af74def.jpg

And just for completion: the resident fry

Platy babiesPXL_20220201_050744243.jpg.ddfab460336d11c351f3205359bb17b0.jpg

Cory babies (lost many eggs to fungus, may have been infertile):

PXL_20220201_050803533.jpg.cebc13941c61afff096931531442d7aa.jpg

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On 2/1/2022 at 9:25 AM, Hobbit said:

“Temporary” livebearers… sure… 😏

They will eventually move to their own tank to breed at maximum warp. Right now, the angels are eating fry as fast as they arrive. The big tank was supposed to be an acara display tank, but my dear adult kid "gifted" me with teeny tiny angels so, I gave them gentle tank mates rather than throwing in the acaras immediately. 

I have to admit, the fact that the acaras will not suffer a snail to live is really frustrating. I have been seeding the tank with MTS as fast as I can grow them, but I hold out little hope that they will survive once the acaras move in. They are beautiful fish but messy eaters, and something needs to clean that up. I have corys, ottos and a Synodontis for a reason. The plan is a display for the acaras and angels, and the beloved Synodontis. The rest are just there to clean up! fortunately, the Acaras have shown little interest in chasing the spiny otos or corys, so fingers crossed that it continues.

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